PREVIEW In the late '90s, Paul Oakenfold opted for pop stardom and Sasha and Digweed journeyed into the darker tones of progressive house, leaving Paul van Dyk as the final bastion of trance music's golden age. Some might argue that one of the Dutch contingency Armin van Burren, Ferry Corsten, and the prominent DJ Tiesto has wrested the mantle of trance king from the Berlin DJ and producer. The short answer is a defiant nein. In their own ways, the Dutch headliners have attempted to shift away from traditional trance music's familiar pattern of build-up then breakdown (now known as Euro or NRG). Trance's new formula involves grounding a track with vocal talent, then layering melodies and synths on top. While the Hollanders achieve sufficient results, the accomplished van Dyk has overmastered them, even nabbing indie popsters St. Etienne in 2000 for "Tell Me Why (The Riddle)." Since then, his 2003 "Time of Our Lives" with Vega 4 has been played on American TV commercials, and "The Other Side" with Wayne Jackson won Best HI-NRG/Euro Track at the 2006 Winter Music Conference (it was also nominated for Best Progressive House/Trance Track go figure). Van Dyk's newest album, In Between (Mute US, 2007), continues the trend with a bevy of guest vocalists, including Jackson, David Byrne, and Jessica Sutta of the Pussycat Dolls. The album title could represent a transitional phase: on well-received single "White Lies" with Sutta, familiar drums and hi-hats mingle with a heavy bass line atypical of the German's normally fleet-footed sound.
PAUL VAN DYK With Taj and Dirtyhertz. Fri/8, 9 p.m., $40. 1015, 1015 Folsom, SF. (415) 431-1200, www.1015.com